A FOOTPATH that cost thousands of pounds and was only installed earlier this year has been closed because it is a health and safety risk.
West Lindsey District Council spent up to £30,000 on a footpath under the Chapel Street railway bridge in Market Rasen so people could walk from Tesco to the centre of town without crossing the road.
But birds roosting under the railway bridge have left hundreds of droppings on the new path and Lincolnshire County Council has been forced to close it to the public.
West Lindsey District Council leader and Lincolnshire county councillor Burt Keimach has compared the situation to the Yosemite National Park virus outbreak in the USA, which is spread by rodents and has killed three people.
He said: “Pigeon droppings could be equally, or even more dangerous. Someone could step in something. It’s a frightening scenario. I’m very, very worried about it. It’s a bad situation.
“If we don’t enforce the health and safety act we’re in trouble.”
Network Rail has sealed a gap where it is believed the pigeons were gaining access and it plans to put up netting when it carries out other works at the site within the next six months.
The path was part of a £50,000 project of “environmental enhancement measures” between Tesco and town centre – the supermarket giant agreed to give this money to WLDC after it got planning permission to open the Market Rasen store in 2006.
It is not yet known exactly when the footpath will reopen.